Hello again. It has been a few weeks since I last posted; I've been on the road traveling from tournament to tournament with very little time off in between. I am just finishing up the FLW tour schedule at Lake Hartwell in Georgia. What a great Lake. I tell you I'm very impressed with that lake and I hope that Lake Harwell is on the schedule every year. Some of the most fun events of the year are the ones that we fish on lakes that has a lot of different ways to catch them. Lake Harwell is one of those lakes. You can you run up the rivers in the muddy water or could go down by the dam where the water is clear. There are docks, laydowns, points and drops to fish on Hartwell.
Largemouth and Spotted bass are the two species to focus on. During practice I actually caught 2 spotted bass over 4 pounds each. There are only a few places in the country where you can catch spots that big and I heard reports of people catching five founders….wow.
On the second day of practice I figure out quickly that the fish where spawning on the east side of the lake. So at that point I decided I was going to put all my efforts at locating as many beds as possible. I won a lot of money over the years in sight fishing events and it was feeling like this was going set up to be a good one. Hind sight is always 20/20 and sometimes we get so focused one way of catching fish I seem not focus on a strong back up pattern just in case the main one fizzles. On the third day of practice late that afternoon the wind picked up to over 25 miles an hour out of the West which was wrecking my East side spawners. The shorelines on Lake Harwell are mostly made up of the Georgia red clay and when you have a lot of wind and wave action those red clay banks it will stain in a matter of minutes. Not good for sight fishing.
Day one I was able to scratch out five bass weighing almost 11 pounds which put me right in the middle of the pack. I missed a few opportunities which would allow me to end up with close to 13 pounds the day. On the morning of day two I decided to run down the lake to see if I can pull a rabbit out of my hat on some early morning schooling action. Started throwing a mega Bass jerk bait and quickly caught a few bass around 2 pounds each and lost one close to 5 pounds at the boat..... That was a tough one. I decided then to go looking for some bigger fish knowing that I needed to catch about 13 pounds to get a check 15 pounds to make the top 20 round and about 20 pounds for the day to get myself back in contention to win the event. So start running random pockets that were clear looking or some better fish culling my way up to about 10 pounds which is far from the 13 to 15 that I needed to make some real money.
The one thing about a sight fishing tournament is that is very nerve racking. Trolling motoring around looking for the right size to make a big move in weight, all the while passing by smaller fish that could help a little bit, but won't help enough to make a huge difference. I always feel like the big one is just around the corner… So with about an hour left in the day for fishing I located a bass close to 5 pounds. I knew if I caught this fish it would a payday at Lake Hartwell. This bass was a “wild one” running around the back of the pocket hiding under various logs and bushes. This bass is all squirreled out and I'm not real sure if I can catch her. So I started paying attention or her exact route in the pocket as she swam around to different pieces of cover. Then as she stopped on every piece of cover I would pitch the white crawdad right in front of her, like chasing her around everywhere she went just trying to make her mad. After about 15 to 20 minutes of accurate pitches in her face she had enough and white crawdad disappeared, get the net I said, I got her!!!..... So as I drug her through the logs and into the net. At that moment I had a major sense of relief to know that I just salvage the day and turned it into a payday with that fish and the most exciting part was that I “beat that fish!”.
I finished the day with a five fish stringer that weigh 12 lbs. 12 oz. When the dust settled and I saw the standings I then realized that with a few of the missed fish throughout this event I would've easily made the top 20 round, but that's the way goes sometimes. The next event on the schedule is going to be an absolute slug fest..... Lake Chickamauga in Tennessee will be pumping out 20 pound bags like it nothing. This event will be a major and I mean major sponsor event and I'm ready for it. Stay tuned soon for some more blogs and fishing reports from Lake Chickamauga and Tennessee.